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"Why do people only remember their past? Why does no one listen to premonitory dreams? Why does the perception of time only travel in one direction? Why is free will an illusion? Why is man only an animal?" Gaspar Noé is back! With a new cut of one of his older films… Who knows why Noé thought now was the right time to bring back Irréversible, but he's premiering a brand new "straight cut" version of the film at the Venice Film Festival this week. Irréversible first shocked audiences in 2002 at the Cannes Film Festival, launching Noé's career in a major way. Starring Monica Bellucci and Vincent Cassel, the provocative film is presented in reverse-chronological order showing what happened over the course of one traumatic night in Paris as a woman is brutally raped and beaten by a stranger in an underpass. This new version flips things back to normal, showing it in the "correct" chronological order. Because, Noe says, "time reveals all."
"I'm just a boxer." Well Go USA has released the full-length official US trailer for Takashi Miike's latest film, titled First Love - originally known as Hatsukoi. This first premiered at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year, and it's playing at TIFF next in the Midnight Madness category before hitting theaters later this month. This is Miike at "his most fun and anarchic, a noir-tinged yakuza film blending genres in the story of a young boxer and a call girl, who fall passionately in love while getting innocently caught up in a drug-smuggling scheme over the course of one night in Tokyo." The film stars Masataka Kubota, Nao Omori, Shota Sometani, and Sakurako Konishi. Reviews describe it as a "hard-boiled and soft-hearted" action film. TIFF says it captures "the yearning that blooms with one's first brush with" love and the "instant when a person resolves to live for another besides themselves — be it with fists raised, or swords drawn." Fight on.
"There's magic in this play. As if I've given it all that I lack." Roadside Attractions has debuted an official trailer for the French historical drama Cyrano, My Love, which premiered last year and opened in most of Europe at the beginning of this year. The film is about Edmond Rostand, played by Thomas Solivérès, a famous playwright who is struggling to figure out his next project before he turns 30. Ignoring the whims of actresses, the demands of his producers, the jealousy of his wife, his best friend's heart and the lack of enthusiasm of all those around him, Edmond must focus and put to pen to paper. For now, he has only the title: "Cyrano de Bergerac". The cast includes Olivier Gourmet, Mathilde Seigner, Tom Leeb, Lucie Boujenah, Alice de Lencquesaing, Clémentine Célarié, and Igor Gotesman. This looks like a lively look back in time at the life of a playwright and the creation of his finest work. That mustache is a wild one.
"Any breaches of the order, are hastily being eliminated." Our friends at Bloody-Disgusting have debuted an official promo trailer for an indie horror-thriller film premiering at the Toronto Film Festival titled The Antenna. This surreal thriller is about a dystopian Turkey, where the Government begins installing new networks throughout the country to monitor people. The installation goes wrong in a crumbling apartment complex and Mehmet, the building's super, will then have to confront the evil entity behind the inexplicable transmissions that threaten the residents. Starring Ihsan Önal as Mehmet, Gül Arici, Levent Ünsal, Isil Zeynep, Murat Saglam, Elif Çakman, Mert Toprak Yadigar, Eda Özel, and Enis Yildiz. This looks like some very Cronenberg-ian, Videodrome-esque paranoia with tons of cool imagery. Give this one a look.
"I'm going to make sure you never forget what he told you." The Match Factory unveiled the first official promo trailer for Ema, the latest film from acclaimed, award-winning Chilean filmmaker Pablo Larraín (of Post Mortem, No!, The Club, Neruda, Jackie). This is premiering at the Venice Film Festival this week, and then will hit the Toronto Film Festival next. Mariana Di Girolamo stars as Ema, a reggaeton dancer who "sets out on an odyssey of personal liberation" in the aftermath of an adoption that goes awry as their household falls apart. Also starring Gael García Bernal, Paola Giannini, and Santiago Cabrera. The first poster for this is also stunning - such attention-grabbing imagery! And this trailer is splendid, setting the tone and introducing this colorful story. I'm a big fan of Larrain and can't wait to see this in Venice soon.
"We can't go on like this." Memento Films has released an official trailer for the latest film made by talented Singaporean filmmaker Anthony Chen (of Ilo Ilo) titled Wet Season, which will be premiering at the Toronto Film Festival starting next week. The film is looking for distributors worldwide which is why they're promoting it with this superb festival trailer. Wet Season, also known as Re Dai Yu in Mandarin, is about the friendship / relationship that builds between a Malaysian-born high school teacher and a lonely student living in Singapore. They connect "but the time will come when even this alliance will reach its inevitable limit." Starring Yann Yann Yeo, Koh Jia Ler, Christopher Lee, and Yang Shi Bin. This looks good, a tender drama about loneliness. TIFF says it boasts "elegant, unobtrusive camerawork and fluid storytelling."
"Keep on shooting! Keep it rolling!" Shudder has unveiled a brand new US trailer for the Japanese zombie comedy One Cut of the Dead. This film has already earned legendary status (seriously) as one of the best zombie comedies ever made, after playing at numerous film festivals all througohut the world throughout 2018. From director Shinichirô Ueda, this Japanese horror comedy is about a father who tries to make a low-budget zombie film in an abandoned warehouse. At first you see the version of the film they're making, then it flips and you see what's really going on when they make it and it's absolutely amazing zombie bliss. The film stars Takayuki Hamatsu, Mao, Harumi Shuhama, Yuzuki Akiyama, Kazuaki Nagaya, and Manabu Hosoi. Our own Jeremy Kirk flipped for the film at Fantastic Fest, and wrote in his glowing review that it's "a sweet, funny, little magic trick of a movie that once again reinvents a been-there premise." If you haven't already seen this yet, or even if you have, GO see it again when it's in US theaters next month.
"I've met a nice lady." Time to get kinky. TIFF has debuted an international promo trailer for the Finnish film Dogs Don't Wear Pants, which first premiered at the Cannes Film Festival this year in the Directors' Fortnight sidebar, and is showing in Toronto next month. Described as an "affecting and absurd dramedy", Dogs Don't Wear Pants is about a guilt-stricken widower who discovers that a demanding dominatrix might be able to give him the therapy he needs. A film about how brutal BDSM and pup play might actually be the therapy certain people need. Starring Pekka Strang, Krista Kosonen, Ester Geislerová, Ilona Huhta, Jani Volanen, and Oona Airola. This funky Finnish film is still seeking international distribution after Cannes, and hopefully a few brave cinephiles will give it a look up in Toronto. I love the title, and from this trailer the awkward comedy seems to elevate this story in just the right way. It's weird but still worth a look.
"A chance the dragons waited a millennium for." Well Go USA has debuted an official US trailer for the epic Chinese animated movie Ne Zha, or Nezha, which has been sweeping the box office in China this summer. The movie has set a new benchmark for Chinese animation. "We assembled 1,600 people in a team from all over the industry to work for nearly five years and, together, we have tried our best to present a good film for the Chinese audience." Ne Zha, based on an ancient Chinese legend (of course), is about a young boy, with the power to destroy the world, who must choose between good and evil in order to break the shackles of fate and become the hero. Featuring the voices of Lü Yanting, Jiongsen Sefu, Han Mo, Chen Hao, Lü Qi, Yang Wei, and Zhang Jiaming. This will be released (with English subtitles) in IMAX first at the end of the month, then in more theaters a week after. It does look epic, and hopefully is as good as they say.
"It's time for us farmers to retake control." Yes! Fight the power! Screen Daily has debuted a festival promo trailer for the Icelandic drama titled The County, premiering at the Toronto Film Festival coming up next month. The film will screen in the Contemporary World Cinema section, after already opening in Icelandic cinemas this summer. From the acclaimed director of the film Rams, Grímur Hákonarson's The County is set in rural Iceland and follows Inga, a middle-aged cow farmer who loses her husband in an accident and must stand on her own two feet. She begins a new life on her own terms by fighting against corruption and injustice at the co-op in her community. Don't follow the herd! The film stars Arndís Hrönn Egilsdóttir, Sveinn Ólafur Gunnarsson, and Sigurður Sigurjónsson. I'm really enjoying this outstanding trend of anti-corruption, power-to-the-people films from Iceland these days (see also: Woman at War). More of this.
"Gosh, life is sublime." Kino Lorber has released the official US trailer for an award-winning indie drama titled Synonyms, aka Synonymes, from Israeli writer/director Nadav Lapid. This premiered at the Berlin Film Festival earlier this year and it won the Golden Bear, the top prize there, which it definitely deserves (here's my review). Based on the real life experiences of Lapid, Synonyms explores the challenges of putting down roots in a new place. Tom Mercier stars as Yoav, an Israeli man who shows up in Paris, France. His "attempts to find himself awaken past demons and open up an existential abyss in this tragicomic puzzle that wisely knows how to keep its secrets." Also starring Quentin Dolmaire and Louise Chevillotte. The film is also adored by most critics, with David Ehrlich (read his review) describing it as a "sui generis work of tormented genius." Any & every cinephile needs to keep an eye on the film and don't miss it once it opens.
"One act of love can change everything." Cinestaan Film Co. has revealed a trailer for Bombay Rose, an animated feature playing in the Critics' Week section of the Venice Film Festival starting later this month. Bombay Rose is a beautiful hand-painted animation created by award winning animator Gitanjali Rao. A romance set on the streets of Bombay, we witness Kamala and Salim's quest for true love in this chaotic and beautiful city. Rao is a self-taught animator and filmmaker, and every single frame of this is painted by hand. Featuring the voices of Cyli Khare as Kamala, and Amit Deondi as Salim, plus Anurag Kashyap, Makrand Deshpande, Virendra Saxena, Shishir Sharma, and Amardeep Jha. "While her depiction of urban reality has a documentary style, the intricate dream worlds are inspired from the rich and varied folk art styles of India." This looks beautiful, not only the animation but the story as well. Take a look below.